tv [untitled] April 27, 2011 12:00am-12:30am PDT
butler, roland anderson, alex leoaspe, orange richardson iv, ricky sederis, calvin chen, neal bareck, stephen peck, ramon robinson, and thomas charts. each member of the public will have at least two minutes to speak unless my colleagues have questions. >> thank you for having me, supervisors. i am a community embassador. but i am here today to speak as a resident of district 10. there are overwhelming needs by my community, especially the asian community, about digital equity. right now, since comcast is the
only land line provider in our area -- president chiu: 3 speaking on the side of at&t or the side of the appellants? >> on this side of at&t. president chiu: you will have an opportunity to provide public comment after at&t presents. this is a time to speak on behalf of the appellants. if anyone wants to speak on behalf of the appellants, please step up to the microphone. my guess is there are a lot of folks who checked the rahm box. -- the wrong box. you wish to speak to the appellants. robert longer, samantha wolf, toshira johnson, neal bardeck, brian webster.
anyone who wishes to speak on behalf of the appellants, please step up. >> lawrence rosenfeld, 15-year resident of the inner sunset. on monday, april 18, at the at&t team came out to survey three sites in the inner sunset. the process consisted of asking us where we would like the boxes and telling us the reasons they were not satisfactory locations. for example, the challenges of trenching where there are many tracks. but nothing was said about how the fiber cable gets down the street. i am concerned that the city mandated 18 inch setbacks from the curb will be a problem for people trying to get children out of car seats or disabled persons into wheelchairs' or onto crutches. in a neighborhood that is short on parking, if there is a box that is blocking egress to your
vehicle, you are in a world of hurt. there are enough issues like the parking set back that i think need to be handled from a central point of view, rather than leaving it to concerned residents and business owners in each of the neighborhoods, which seems to be the alternative if these are done on a one by one basis, especially when the formal process only requires residents and property owners in a small radius around the location to be notified. it devolves on to volunteers to mobilize all those affected by each placement. and there are 16 in the inner sunset. if this is not an environmental impact, deserving a thorough, centralized review, i do not know what is. thank you very much. >> peter fortune, a member of san francisco beautiful. i think the question about
expert testimony misses the point. if you have environmental review, you will get expert testimony and can consider alternatives like the undergrounding. there is another alternative. that alternative is no boxes. there is a company in san francisco that provides internet service through fiber optic cables. they do it by micro trenching/ -- trenching. you take a saw and dig a line three-quarters of an inch wide and 10 inches deep. you put the cable in it and top it off by whatever the dpw wants. this shows how minimally intrusive it would be four at&t to install fiber-optic cable instead of these boxes.
if you have environmental review, you can get expert testimony and people to explain how this will be less intrusive. that is one more reason why you need environmental review, to consider the alternative of no boxes. president chiu: next speaker. >> my name is jane winslow. i am here with san francisco beautiful. this proposal to exempt 726 utility boxes from environmental review clashes with several policies of the city pick general plan. policy 2.8, maintain a strong presumption against giving up street areas for private ownership or use. policy 4.4, design walkways and parking facilities to minimize
danger to pedestrians. policy 1.7, a sure expanded mobility for the disadvantaged. these types of contradictions are addressed in an eir. that is why we urge you to conduct one. thank you. president chiu: next speaker. >> my name is jan blum. do we oppose the categorical exemption granted by the planning department to at&t for the installation of these 726 metal cabinets. there will be a cumulative impact from this massive installation, both individually and cumulatively, upon the quality of the public right of way. we could not agree less with this ruling. we believe there would be a cumulative impact upon the
quality of the public right of way by impeding travel on public streets, by creating visual blight, attracting blowing trash, and otherwise impeding the use of the public right of way. san francisco tomorrow is convinced that a thorough environmental review would demonstrate the at&t proposal is neither the most viable nor the most environmentally superior alternative. we urge you to return the document to the planning department with instructions to prepare an eir. thank you. president chiu: next speaker. >> merle goldstone, president of north beach. i am here to join other san francisco neighborhoods in support of san francisco beautiful and the appeal of the at&t proposal to install 726
utility boxes on san francisco sidewalks. this proposal should not be allowed to go forward before all affected neighborhoods have a chance to weigh in. i would like to submit our resolution to the board, which lays out in more detail our concern. thank you. experience has shown that surface-mounted utility boxes are a magnet for graffiti, vandalism, and other forms of light. i have spent most -- spent many volunteer hours painting out graffiti on such utility boxes, while the city is spending our precious tax dollars to do the same. the addition of 726 boxes on our side or provide new opportunities for vandalism and make more work for public works staff and concerned citizens who care about how our city looks. we urge the city to follow the
department of public works order 175,566, year 2005, which regulates that this equipment replaced underground or on private property, as it impedes travel on public streets, inconveniences' property owners, and creates visual blight. thank you for considering this appeal. >> linda chapman from not hill -- nob hill. supervisor mar said he wished he had more opportunity to look at this. some of you are lawyers. i had to study the ceqa guidelines in connection with writing a support document for the appeal about live nation. it is very easy to read. it is plain english. it is very vanilla. it would be very clear to you, what they were intended to do
was not to chop big hunks out of ceqa or have something handy for the planning staff. it is really four things that are common sense. -- for things that are common sense. i am not surprised the judge expects planning to return the decision to use a cadex in that case. the second thing is i used to be a civil rights specialist. i dealt with disability. one of the things that concerns people is having impediments' like this in the public right of way for people with visual impairment are using real tears. even i run into an impediment all the time, outside the theater. every time i come to it, i have to decide whether to walk into traffic or go under this
structure where i expect to be mugged, as has happened to me in the past. there is a pedestrian public impact here which needs to be considered. last, i am going to say what are they doing in paris, london, rome, venice, and other cities? we do not have to consider doing the same thing that might work out in nevada, where they do not have a downtown center, and where they do not have the aesthetic concerns. we should look at what they are doing. president chiu: thank you. >> i am the founder of a small isp in san francisco. the u.s. is no. 30 in the world in internet speeds. we need faster internet in the city. the boxes are not the way to go. the boxes will basically provide
dsl -- it will break up the central office into smaller cabinets, essentially closer to your house, but you will still have copper going into your house. we need to rework the entire infrastructure of how we do communications in the city. we are relying on copper lines. we need to pull those out and put in fiber-optic cables. at&t does not want to do this because it is not very cost effective. the are in business to make money. they need to capitalize on their existing infrastructure, which is all copper in the streets. there are ways to put the fiber underground that does not require cabinets. we can do micro trenching. you do not need a trench as wide as a bucket. you can dig a 1 inch wide trench and drop fiber in the trench.
it is fast. it can be done in a day. you can do 400 meters and have a closed. it is affordable. we need to set up a network that maybe the city owns and other businesses like mine can provide the internet leg and the property owners can pay for the trunk from the network in the street from their house and be given tax relief in exchange. it would be less than a thousand dollars. it costs about $700 for you to put your power -- when pg&e goes underground, it costs about $700 for the material. president chiu: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name is dana smithco. i am making a statement on behalf of sf fiber.
we are advocating for better broadband auctions in san francisco. i applaud at&t's efforts to bring faster high-speed internet. we are not sure this is the best way to go over the long term. as the previous speaker was saying, the u.s. has fallen well -- san francisco has fallen well behind national averages for download speed. uverse uses dsl technology that offers a maximum of 24 megabits. the upload speeds are even smaller. people are using more videos and photos and bandwidth intensive applications. this is going to quickly become inadequate and necessitate another serious network upgrade in the near future. there is a better option. instead of a fiber network,
build a network that brings fiber -- instead of the copper network, bring fiber to the home. this has been done all of the world. it has been done in boston. it offered speeds hundreds of times faster than what is available today and would not require large sidewalk boxes. this is the sort of long-term strategy san francisco needs for better broadband. that would be upgradable in the future and could be built once and built right. thank you. >> good evening. i am the vice president of the triangle neighborhood organization. we strongly oppose at&t's plan to further encroach in the public from. one of my first act of civic involvement came soon after i moved into my house on henry street 15 years ago, when i saw a sign on the ugly box across the street from us informing the
at&t was skipping normal notice requirements due to an emergency and would enlarge the box by one-third. many people say henry is one of the most beautiful streets in the city. none of that carry any weight with at&t, nor would it under their current proposal. after an arduous fight, i was able to get at&t to help pay for friends of the urban forest to install trees to mitigate its ugliness. when i leave my house, i appreciate those trees. but the box is still there and still ugly. i am impacted by that every time i pass it. or the one on castro and 15th, or the one on castro and market. the last one, i wonder why we spend so much money getting the city to replace the ugly newspaper boxes. i cannot tell you how many times i have called 311 to get, in the city to paint over graffiti on
that one box. yes, we want technology and competition, but not at the expense of losing the beauty and accessibility of our neighborhood. i believe there are feasible solutions to the technological challenges. please require an environmental review so that at&t will be forced to find them and we will not be stuck with the first inning long line of degradations of our streetscape. thank you. >> my name is karen croney. i want to address one small item. i want to refute at&t's position that they cannot place these boxes on private property. just think of the number of apartment buildings in san francisco where longtime tenants are causing a loss of revenue for apartment owners who can only raise their aunts --
their rents 0.5% annually. a lot of these people would jump at the chance to earn an extra $500 a month to put one of these boxes on the property. why won't at&t do that? i won't pay that kind of money. they say they can't afford it. i just wanted to read from the new york times one week ago, at&t profit rises 39%. and then hear from six months ago -- at&t uverse archives' first $1 billion revenue quarter. we are not talking about people who do not have the money to pay the private people to put the boxes on their property. thank you. >> i am the president of
corporate heights -- corbet heights neighbors. at&t uses two colors to paint their boxes -- light beige or pale green. almost all of the existing boxes in the city are painted dark green. this is because dpw uses only one color, dark green. when one of these boxes is packed, a neighborhood resident will call 311. dpw -- dpw comes up to pay them. at&t does not maintain their boxes and the cost is covered by taxpayers. to show how proactive they are, and one had a crew come out to paint to of the boxes in cravaack heights age. within 24 hours, both were attacked. he now says and 800 number will be on all the new boxes, exerting residents to call when they see graffiti. i do not think this should be
the responsibility of neighborhood residents. if at&t neglects to keep these boxes graffiti free, which at&t received a fine for any violation? on february 10, i sent an e- mail asking if there is someone on staff that inspects the boxes with any regularity, or someone who is supposed to. the reply the same day said no, we do not have a specific team dedicated to finding and removing graffiti. some field crews are equipped to remove graffiti on site. we generally contract out graffiti painting. in mr. blackman's words, the cooling fans on the new boxes in it a sound equivalent to an electric toothbrush all day long. competition is a great thing and we could use more of it. but at what cost? with all the advances in technology and considering how innovative the bay area is, does it make sense to put these all over?
>> i am representing the rebel we could neighborhood association. -- the eurkea valley neighborhood association. we want to know what the alternatives are. we don't except there are no alternatives. -- accept there are no new alternatives. we are talking about technology. it does not go away. the city should be looking at this in a broadway about how to provide the technological advances to the residents without creating like and possible hazards to pedestrians , and putting impediments in the public right of way. maybe the eir is not even going
to be sufficient to do what is necessary to prepare for the future here. but it certainly is a step. all the alternatives will be able to be looked at through the eir. by doing a categorical exemption, it simply doesn't make sense when you are talking about something that is not just one little discreet thing. not only 726 boxes, but perhaps other companies coming in and wanting to do the same thing. i think a comprehensive view needs to be taken of this. the eir seems to be the first step. it seems to be the logical thing to do. it seems to be a great detriment not to have the information that an eir would produce.
i urge you to require that there be an eir on this project. thank you very much. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am an officer on the board of the dubos triangle neighborhood association. i believe at&t is not being forthcoming with the fact. the talk about this project as being state of the art. it is really not. it is not fiber optic to the home. it is fiber optic to the note, or in this case fiber optic to the graffiti-covered utility box. then 100 year old copper wire to your home. the result is a digital television signal that is significantly inferior to what you get through cable, satellite, or even over the air digital television. you get somewhat faster
internet, but not nearly as fast as fiber to the home, which is what competitors are deploying in other parts of the country. at&t is trying to get into the tv programming business on the cheap. they are doing the cheapest technology and trying to get san francisco residents to subsidize the capital improvement cost by giving up our public space. i really think we need to take a look at that. at&t would have us believe that the only feasible way to underground these boxes is with a living room-sized the vault with air-conditioning and hot and cold running water. i believe there are alternatives. the only way we are going to know that is to get an independently performed eir that looks at the alternatives and does not just present the options that they want us to see. also, putting boxes on private property has not really been adequately explored.
there are a lot of ways to get around access, including lockboxes and easements. thank you. i asked you to vote to support an eir on this project. president chiu: sir, you spoke before. >> i was answering one specific question. the forfeit my -- president chiu: my apologies. you did not. >> kurt hoslinger. i hope you will support a full eir. there is not enough information. expert testimony will come forward, rather than relying on at&t, which pretty obviously in my mind, with the issue about private property -- they simply say we cannot do it. don't give us any hurdles.
it is our city too. we can do better. i hope someone will pursue this with the planning department. i have the original application. this was filed on september 30, 2010. the document is erroneous. it is incomplete. i looked in the board packet, all 100 pages on line, and could not find this document. it is called the environmental the vibration application. i want to point out part 3, question 5. -- the environmental application. would the project result in ground disturbance of 1000 square feet or more? the box as checked sesno. if you do the math on the entire
project, it greatly exceeds 5000 square feet. 726 boxes, minimum 24 square feet per box, plus the trench. the answer is incorrect on the form. finally, part 4, there is a project summary table you can see here. they ask for additional information about the project -- a gross square footage of what is existing, what is proposed, will be new, and the project totals. it says if you are not sure provide the maximum amount. they simply put not applicable on every one of these boxes. president chiu: let me call up other individuals i believe one to speak on this time -- this side of the issue. francisco florez, anthony brewster, rohaun finley, nima
hawkings, tremen larakin, pauline lookinbill. if you wish to speak on behalf of the appellant, please stepped up. >> i am david pillpell. i want to speak in support of the appellants. the question is whether further environmental review is required. i believe that for this project as i understand it there may be direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts from this project. i do not believe they have been adequately assessed. i understand the city if approval discretion is limited under the communications act of 1996. as such, i believe an eir is the best place to explore the project impacts, alternatives,
and the traditions. to that end, i believe it is inappropriate to reject the cadex and require further environmental review. you would need to look at all the various aspects of street furniture and enforcement in the public realm, whether they be good bed or otherwise, whether they are bicycle racks, trees, or all kinds of things on the sidewalk. when you take these things together, the cumulative impact is an impediment, that needs to be fully explored in an eir looking at alternatives and mitigation. cadx does not do that. i strongly encourage you to reject this